Top 12 Attractions in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States and attracts millions of visitors every year. Known as the “City of Angels”, LA offers something for everyone – from world-class museums and entertainment venues to beautiful beaches and outdoor spaces. If you’re planning a trip to LA, here are the top 12 attractions you must include in your itinerary:

1Hollywood Walk of FameA famous sidewalk featuring over 2,600 stars honoring entertainment industry figures.
2Santa Monica PierIconic pier with amusement park rides, arcades, and eateries, offering beautiful ocean views.
3Griffith ObservatoryOffers city views and space education with a planetarium, exhibit halls, and telescopes.
4Getty CenterHouses European art, American photography, sculptures, and features stunning gardens.
5Universal Studios HollywoodA movie-based theme park and studio offering rides and shows.
6Venice BeachKnown for its eclectic vibe, boardwalk, street performers, and outdoor activities.
7Beverly HillsFamous for Rodeo Drive’s luxury shopping, dining, and celebrity homes.
8The Grove & Original Farmers MarketA shopping and entertainment complex next to a historic market offering diverse eateries and shops.
9TCL Chinese TheatreIconic theater known for movie premieres and celebrity handprint ceremonies.
10Walt Disney Concert HallArchitectural icon and home to the LA Philharmonic, known for its excellent acoustics.
11La Brea Tar PitsFeatures active tar pits and a museum with prehistoric fossils.
12Rodeo DriveLuxurious shopping street in Beverly Hills, famous for high-end boutiques.

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US and is located in the southern part of California. With its beautiful weather, diversity, Hollywood glamour and incredible food scene, it’s no wonder LA receives over 50 million visitors annually. The sprawling city is divided into various neighborhoods and districts, each with its own unique vibe and culture. From the palm-tree lined beaches of Santa Monica, to the hustle and bustle of Downtown LA, to the posh suburbs of Beverly Hills – LA has something to offer every kind of traveler.

The top attractions in Los Angeles range from iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign, to world-renowned museums such as the Getty Center, to amusement parks like Universal Studios Hollywood. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike up to the Griffith Observatory for stunning city views or head over to Santa Monica Pier for seaside fun. For pop culture and celeb spotting, the Walk of Fame and glitzy neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Malibu are must-visits. The food scene is also diverse, ranging from taco trucks to Michelin-star fine dining.

To experience the best of LA, here are the top 12 attractions you must include in your California itinerary:

1: Hollywood Walk of Fame

Name and Location: The Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches along Hollywood Blvd and Vine St in Hollywood.

History and Significance: Created in 1958, the Walk of Fame features over 2,700 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars honoring achievements in entertainment.

What to Expect: Visitors can view the star tributes, take photos, and spot celebrities. The area also offers shopping and dining.

Visitor Information: The Walk of Fame is openly accessible daily to pedestrians and traffic.

No trip to LA is complete without a visit to the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stretching over 15 blocks along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, the sidewalk features more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars honoring various artists and celebrities from the entertainment industry. Located in the bustling Hollywood neighborhood, the Walk of Fame is one of the top free attractions in all of LA. Visitors can locate their favorite actor, musician or director’s star and take memorable photos. Nearby attractions like the TCL Chinese Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, Dolby Theatre and glitzy shopping options on Hollywood & Highland provide plenty to do after checking out the Walk of Fame.

2: Santa Monica Pier

Name and Location: Santa Monica Pier is located at 200 Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica.

History and Significance: Built in 1909, this iconic pier on the Pacific Coast Highway features an amusement park and attractions.

What to Expect: Visitors can ride the Ferris wheel, carousel and roller coaster, play arcade games, shop, dine and take in the beach views.

Visitor Information: The pier is open daily, hours vary by season. Admission is free, ride tickets sold separately.

For that quintessential California beach scene, head over to the Santa Monica Pier located in the LA beachfront neighborhood of the same name. Opened in 1909, this iconic pier stretches over the Pacific Ocean for an entire mile. Visitors can enjoy amusement park rides, arcades, eateries, street performers and the picturesque ocean views from the pier. The iconic Ferris wheel at Pacific Park offers breathtaking vistas extending from Santa Monica to Malibu. Other highlights include the historic 1922 carousel, an aquarium and the original Muscle Beach with its outdoor gym. After enjoying the attractions on the pier, visitors can relax on Santa Monica Beach or take a stroll on the Third Street Promenade – a pedestrian-friendly outdoor mall lined with shops, cafes and restaurants.

3: Griffith Observatory

Name and Location: Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 E Observatory Rd in Griffith Park.

History and Significance: Built in 1935, this Los Angeles landmark and popular filming site offers sweeping views and astronomy exhibits.

What to Expect: Visitors can see exhibits, telescopes, planetarium shows and enjoy spectacular views of the Hollywood Sign and LA area.

Visitor Information: Griffith Observatory is open Tuesday–Sunday 12:00–10:00 pm. Admission is free, nominal charges for parking and shows.

Perched high above the Hollywood neighborhood, Griffith Observatory offers unmatched city views along with an incredible space education. The interior features a planetarium, exhibit halls and numerous spaces focused on astronomy. Visitors can observe the Zeiss telescope on the east side, explore the exhibits on galaxies and planets, and watch a live show inside the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The expansive grounds outside provide some of the most scenic vistas of LA, from the iconic Hollywood Sign to Downtown LA skyscrapers. Open green spaces, walking paths and an amphitheater are also found on the Observatory grounds. Sunset is the ideal time to visit Griffith Park’s most popular attraction for beautiful golden hour colors over the city.

4: Getty Center

Name and Location: The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Dr in Brentwood.

History and Significance: Designed by Richard Meier, the Getty Center opened in 1997 to house J. Paul Getty’s art collection with scenic views.

What to Expect: Visitors can explore European art, sculpture gardens and architecture while taking in panoramas of Los Angeles and the ocean.

Visitor Information: The Getty Center is free to visit, open Tuesday–Sunday 10:00 am–5:30 pm. Timed tickets are required.

The Getty Center is one of the top LA attractions housing European art, American photography and a variety of sculptures within its iconic white buildings. The museum complex sits high in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers almost 360-degree views of the city from its gardens and terraces. Inside, visitors will find an impressive collection spanning from Medieval times to modern art by greats like Monet, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Central Garden designed by Robert Irwin is a stunning highlight, along with the Museum’s architecture modeled after ancient Roman country villas. Admission to the Getty Center is free, although parking costs $20. Public transit and rideshares are great options for visiting this LA icon.

5: Universal Studios Hollywood

Name and Location: Universal Studios Hollywood is located at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City.

History and Significance: Founded in 1915, this film studio amusement park brings movie magic to life with rides and attractions.

What to Expect: Visitors can enjoy thrill rides, special effects shows, backlot tram tours to see real film sets and meet characters like Shrek and Simpsons.

Visitor Information: Universal Studios is open daily, hours vary by season. General admission starts at $109.

For movie buffs and theme park lovers, Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-visit attraction in LA. As one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in operation, Universal provides a fun peek behind the silver screen. The park features unique rides, shows and attractions based on popular movies like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, and Despicable Me. Thrill rides like the Studio Tour tram ride, King Kong ride and The Simpsons ride provide an adrenaline rush. Visitors can also explore the iconic Universal CityWalk outside the park gates for shopping, dining and entertainment. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to spend an entire day at this world-class theme park.

6: Venice Beach

Name and Location: Venice Beach encompasses the beach, boardwalk and canals in the Venice neighborhood.

History and Significance: Founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905 to mimic Venice, Italy, this iconic area hosts street performers, shops and eateries.

What to Expect: Visitors can enjoy people-watching, surfing, shopping for artsy goods, bodybuilding at Muscle Beach and local cuisine in a lively setting.

Visitor Information: Venice Beach Boardwalk is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.

Experience the relaxed, eclectic vibe of the Venice Beach neighborhood down by the Pacific shoreline. The Venice Beach Boardwalk is always buzzing with street performers, funky shops and colorful murals. Outdoorsy types can enjoy the many recreational facilities like basketball courts, tennis courts, skatepark and Muscle Beach outdoor gym. Rent a bicycle and cruise up and down the waterfront for people watching, or grab a snack at a sidewalk cafe. Make sure to check out the beach scene north of the popular boardwalk to see the iconic Venice Canals lined with funky homes on water and bridges. The Sunday Venice Beach Art Walk is a great chance to buy local art.

7: Beverly Hills

Name and Location: Beverly Hills is an upscale city and shopping destination located in western Los Angeles County.

History and Significance: Founded in 1914 as a planned community, Beverly Hills is globally renowned for luxury residences, five-star hotels like The Beverly Hilton and Rodeo Drive shopping.

What to Expect: Visitors can shop at high-end boutiques, spot luxury cars, admire architecture, dine and potentially catch glimpses of celebrities.

Visitor Information: Beverly Hills has open access points daily. Some stores and attractions may require paid entry or have limited hours.

No visit to the LA area is complete without a stop in swanky Beverly Hills, home of Hollywood stars and glamorous attractions. THE iconic street Rodeo Drive is a top shopping destination lined with names like Chanel, Gucci, Cartier and Louis Vuitton. For luxe window shopping, dining and 5-star hotels, Rodeo Drive can’t be missed. Other Beverly Hills highlights include al fresco lunch on Beverly Canon Gardens’ terrace, touring Greystone Mansion estate and dropping by luxury car showrooms to spot one-of-a-kind vehicles. Fun photo ops await at Beverly Hills Sign on South Santa Monica Boulevard.

8: The Grove & Original Farmers Market

Name and Location: The Grove and Original Farmers Market are located at 189 The Grove Dr in Mid-Wilshire.

History and Significance: Built in 2002, the Grove mixes shopping, dining and entertainment next to the 1934 Original Farmers Market showcasing food vendors.

What to Expect: Visitors can shop high-end stores like Nordstrom, enjoy fountains and a trolley, or sample fresh produce and global cuisine at the Farmers Market.

Visitor Information: The venues are open daily, with Farmers Market hours varying by merchant and the Grove open from 10 am to 9 pm.

In the Mid-Wilshire district, The Grove shopping and entertainment complex houses some of the best stores, restaurants and attractions in LA. Adjacent is the historic Original Farmers Market selling produce, artisanal food and gifts since 1934. Visitors can ride the trolley around The Grove to hit top shops like Nordstrom and Anthropologie, then grab lunch at one of the gourmet eateries. The area comes alive at night with dancing fountains, street performers and movies playing on the lawn. Stop by on weekends when there’s live music and events. The blend of outdoor mall and old-school farmers market makes this a must-see LA attraction.

9: TCL Chinese Theatre

Name and Location: TCL Chinese Theatre is located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood.

History and Significance: Opened in 1927, this movie palace has iconic architecture, hosted premieres like Star Wars, and features celebrity hand/footprints.

What to Expect: Visitors can see a movie in an ornate setting, view concrete blocks with imprints and take photos on the forecourt.

Visitor Information: TCL Chinese Theatre screens movies daily. Guided tours are $16 for adults. Visitors can stroll the forecourt for free.

Since opening in 1927, the TCL Chinese Theatre has been the go-to spot in Hollywood to see film premieres and celeb handprint ceremonies. The iconic pagoda-style facade and Chinese dragon-guarded entrance set the scene. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of legends along the Forecourt of the Stars, home to 200+ celebrity handprints. Going inside, one can explore exhibits on movie history and enjoy a film in the same auditorium graced by Hollywood icons for generations. The state-of-the-art IMAX theater and famous footprints out front make this a quintessential Hollywood destination.

9: Walt Disney Concert Hall

Name and Location: Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S Grand Ave in downtown.

History and Significance: Opened in 2003, the curving stainless steel architecture is acclaimed for its concert hall featuring superior acoustics for musical performances.

What to Expect: Visitors can take a guided tour, enjoy the free rooftop garden and attend musical shows in spaces designed to optimize sound quality.

Visitor Information: Tour hours vary daily. Concerts and shows have separate ticket requirements.

Designed by famous architect Frank Gehry, the sweeping stainless steel curves of Walt Disney Concert Hall are an architectural icon in Downtown LA. The state-of-the-art venue serves as the home of the LA Philharmonic orchestra and hosts concerts year-round. Music lovers can take a free guided audio tour to explore the Hall’s impressive acoustics and design features. The scenic Garden Terrace and rooftop are also open to the public. Insider’s tip: Grab a cocktail at the Theater Bar to admire the architecture from inside. Special events like jazz nights and holiday music celebrations make experiencing this venue a must in LA.

10: La Brea Tar Pits

Name and Location: La Brea Tar Pits is located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd in Mid-Wilshire.

History and Significance: This museum displays fossils of saber-toothed cats and mammoths trapped in asphalt tar pits formed 10’s of thousands of years ago.

What to Expect: Visitors can learn about fossils while witnessing tar seeps. Displays include woolly mammoth skeletons and an observation pit for active excavations.

Visitor Information: The Tar Pits are open daily 9:30 am–5 pm. Admission is free, parking fees vary.

For a walk through LA’s prehistoric past, La Brea Tar Pits in Mid-Wilshire is a fascinating outdoor museum. More than 100 active asphalt seeps have been preserving ancient fossils from 10,000-40,000 years ago. Visitors can check out the Tar Pits themselves, then view “trapped” mammoth and sabertooth cat skeletons. The Page Museum has an expansive fossil collection and educational exhibits showcasing the site’s excavations. Artifacts like giant sloth ground sloth dung and displays like the Observation Pit provide a chance to unlock ancient mysteries. Exciting daily tours, talks and 3D theater experiences are also offered.

11: Rodeo Drive

Name and Location: Rodeo Drive is a luxury shopping street located in Beverly Hills, spanning 3 blocks from Wilshire Blvd to Santa Monica Blvd.

History and Significance: Developed commercially in the 1960s and known for high fashion, Rodeo Drive features flagship designer boutiques and celeb sightings.

What to Expect: Visitors can shop brands like Chanel, Prada and Cartier; admire upscale architecture and exotic cars; potentially glimpse the rich and famous.

Visitor Information: Rodeo Drive is openly accessible for pedestrians. Designer boutiques are typically open 10am–6pm daily.

No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a luxurious stroll down Rodeo Drive – the iconic upscale shopping street in Beverly Hills. With its palm-lined sidewalks, chic boutiques and luxury vehicles parked curbside, Rodeo Drive oozes extravagance and glamour. Famous luxury labels like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Tiffany & Co line the three-block street. Even window shopping here offers fabulous indulgence. Other quintessential Rodeo Drive activities include posing by the Rodeo Drive sign, lunching al fresco at a Michelin-star restaurant and staying at one of the nearby 5-star hotels.

12: Santa Monica Pier

Name and Location: Santa Monica Pier is located at 200 Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica.

History and Significance: Built in 1909, this iconic pier on the Pacific Coast Highway features an amusement park and attractions.

What to Expect: Visitors can ride the Ferris wheel, carousel and roller coaster, play arcade games, shop, dine and take in the beach views.

Visitor Information: The pier is open daily, hours vary by season. Admission is free, ride tickets sold separately.

For that classic California boardwalk experience against a gorgeous ocean backdrop, Santa Monica Pier is a must. This 100+ year old historic pier extending into the Pacific Ocean offers amusement park rides, seaside dining, street performers and more. The iconic Santa Monica Ferris wheel at Pacific Park provides bird’s eye views of the coastline. Other highlights include the 1922 carousel, an aquarium and Muscle Beach fitness area. After enjoying the lively atmosphere on the pier, take a relaxing stroll on Santa Monica Beach or browse the neighboring Third Street Promenade outdoor mall. The scenic setting, entertainment options and fun vibe make Santa Monica Pier an LA highlight.


With world-famous attractions, stunning beaches, outdoor spaces and incredible entertainment and dining, Los Angeles offers a fabulous vacation. From Hollywood icons like the Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre and Universal Studios to cultural gems like the Getty Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall– LA provides unique experiences for all interests. Outdoor lovers find paradise in Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Griffith Observatory. For celebrity spotting and lavish shopping, Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills can’t be missed. With so much diversity across LA’s neighborhoods, everyone can craft their dream itinerary in this Southern California paradise.

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